Paul French, Xu Xi, Roseann Lake, Nancy Pellegrini, moderated by James McGregor

Friday, March 23, 8pm - purchase link

In this talk, four very different writers will discuss their experiences and the challenges they faced writing China-related non-fiction books: Paul French (Midnight in Peking and City of Devils), Xu Xi (a memoir Dear Hong Kong and essay collections such as Evanescent Isles), Roseann Lake (Leftover in China: The Women Shaping the Next Superpower) and Nancy Pellegrini (The People’s Bard: How China Made Shakespeare its Own). The writers will talk about what drew them to the stories and topics they chose, how they approached the research and writing process, and what difficulties they met en route.

Long time Shanghai resident Paul French is the New York Times bestselling author of Midnight in Peking (currently being adapted for television) — winner of both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction. Now he’s back with City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir, the rags-to-riches tale of two self-made men set against a backdrop of crime and vice in the sprawling badlands of 1930s Shanghai.

Xu Xi is author of twelve books, most recently a memoir Dear Hong Kong: An Elegy for a City (Penguin, 2017), the novel That Man in Our Lives (C&R Press, 2016) Interruptions (Hong Kong Univ. Museum & Art Gallery/Columbia Univ. Press, 2016), a collaborative ekphrastic essay collection with photography by David Clarke. She is co-founder of Authors at Large and fiction editor at Tupelo Press in Massachusetts. In 2018, she was named Faculty Co-Director of a new, low-residency International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.  An Indonesian-Chinese Hong Kong native and U.S. citizen, she currently lives between New York and Hong Kong. @xuxiwriter

Roseann Lake is The Economist’s Cuba correspondent. She was previously based in Beijing, where she spent time as a television reporter and journalist. Her China coverage has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Salon and Vice, among others. She divides her time between New York City and Havana. She is the author of Leftover in China: The Women Shaping the World’s Next Superpower.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Nancy Pellegrini has worked in Europe and Asia for over two decades and has been covering China’s performing arts and classical music scene since 2005. She is the stage editor and writer for Time Out Beijing and Time Out Shanghai magazines and the author of the Penguin Special The People’s Bard: How China Made Shakespeare Its Own(Penguin Random House 2016) She has written on China’s art and culture for Christian Science Monitor, South China Morning Post, Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography, The British Library Literature Project, Tatler, The Strad, Gramophone, International Piano, and Modern Painters, among others. She lives in Beijing.

James McGregor has lived in China for 25 years and currently serves as Chairman Greater China for APCO Worldwide. He is the author of two highly regarded books: “No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism” and “One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China”. McGregor is a former China bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, CEO of Dow Jones China, and chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

  • Tickets for BLF 2019 Events

    Due to high demand, we cannot take reservations over the phone or email; please purchase your tickets at The Bookworm Sanlitun or online via Yoopay (click ‘ticket’ on the events page).